Journalism for ethical business

A friend of mine, Damian, has founded a not-for-profit initiative with some of his journalist and ethically minded peers which launches in a couple of weeks time. I hope you’ll help spread the word and support the launch event.

In a nutshell, from the the website of "Public Business":

The financial crisis showed the need for more serious, dedicated reporting on business actions. We are a small, independent and collaborative non-profit, supporting original journalism looking into the wider economic, environmental and social implications of business – from the causes of the next crisis to the impact of business on climate change.

I’m all for this. The world of media is one of finding information, interpreting it and communicating it with useful context. Increased regulation has resulted in increased corporate reporting – but drawing this data to the attention of the general public is increasingly left to ‘churnalists’ – people that recycle press releases. (Another post will follow soon on what journalists and PRs need to be equipped to do to visualise and interpret this data)…

Despite the fact that my business involves (amongst other things) sending out these press releases I firmly believe that the media has the potential to serve a vital public role – as I mentioned in my recent post on the Sarawak Report – to provide a forum for discussion of important social issues. Where in Malaysia the issue is political, in much of the west its a commercial issue – news media cannot justify the expense of true investigative business journalism (we still find the money to do scoops on celebrities…) – so I hope and wish Damian and co the best in getting this one off the ground and funding some valuable reporting work.

The event launches the initative, and there’s a parallel one in New York for American readers – like the Public Business Facebook page for more details. I can’t make either unfortunately but Damian will be at the London one, hosting with his usual manic aplomb.